His passion for players celebrating extends even when it comes at his expense. That was on full display in the Dodgers’ 5-4 win over the Padres on Saturday, as Fernando Tatis Jr. hit two homers off Bauer, and let him know about it, breaking out some of Bauer’s signature celebrations as he rounded the bases.
In the first inning, Tatis launched his ninth career leadoff homer. As he rounded first base, Tatis turned to the visiting dugout and covered one of his eyes. Shutting one eye is one of Bauer’s training methods and something he did during Spring Training in order to have some fun. The first time he did it this spring was against, you guessed it, the Padres.
The mimicry didn’t stop there for Tatis. In the sixth, Tatis launched another homer off Bauer, breaking a 2-2 tie. As he crossed home plate, Tatis did his own version of the McGregor strut. His dugout also joined in.
When asked about Tatis’ celebrations after the game, Bauer said that he’s “all for it” and that the game should normalize such celebrations, as opposed to trying to resort back to some of the “unwritten rules” that have dominated the game for decades.
“I like it,” said Bauer, who struck out nine while allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits in six innings. “I think that pitchers that have that done to them and react by throwing at people -- I think it’s pretty soft. If you give up a homer, a guy should celebrate it. It’s hard to hit in the big leagues. So I’m all for it, and I think that it’s important that the game moves in that direction and that we stop throwing at people because they celebrated having some success on the field.”
“It’s just fun when you know you’re facing a guy like that,” Tatis said. “He’s doing his stuff. He’s having fun on the mound. And when you get him, you get him, and you celebrate, too.”
Bauer also recalled another playful moment with Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer. Earlier in the game, Bauer got Hosmer on a curveball in the dirt and celebrated by doing a “sword” celebration, which was made popular by the Pitching Ninja account on Twitter. Later in the game, Hosmer lined a single so close to Bauer that it sent the right-hander to the ground. Once he got up from the dirt, Bauer looked at first base and Hosmer gave him the same sword celebration.
“We kind of laughed about it," Bauer said. "We have a history together, we’ve played against each other for many years. That’s what it is to be a competitor. I’m going to go at you and I’m going to get you sometimes and you’re going to get me sometimes.
“We can have fun and we can celebrate it while we’re still competing at the highest level. I just thought that was an important note tonight.”